Core Reasons to Strengthen Your Core
By Western Berks on March 21st, 2016
Everyone seems to be talking about “core strengthening,” but many people don’t know what this phrase means. The body’s “core” refers to the muscles around the abdomen, pelvis, back, shoulders, chest and hips—the body’s center of gravity—all working together in a symphony of movement. As a result, it plays a role in virtually all activities. From sitting to standing to walking to running, the core muscles stabilize our bodies from the force of gravity. Weak core muscles make one more susceptible to poor posture, back pain and injuries during activity; thus, strong core muscles are vital.
More than “six-pack abs,” a strong core is your body’s power zone, the origin of all movement, stabilizing the trunk to permit power activities of the extremities such as:
- Playing sports;
- Doing everyday household chores; or
- Rehabilitating from an injury.
If you are an athlete, a strong core is particularly important so that you can react to the changing demands of your sport or activity. For example, strong core muscles allow baseball and softball players to adjust their arms to swing at pitches in different areas of the strike zone. Players lacking strength in their cores have less powerful and less efficient swings.
Additionally, a strong core helps an athlete accelerate, decelerate and stabilize the body during competition. Core strength increases the amount of force your body produces, which in turn improves balance and body awareness overall, decreasing the incidence of overall injury. A strong core enables a baseball pitcher’s body to swivel, taking stress off the arm and dispersing the forces throughout the entire body. With a strong core for support, improved balance during the pitching motion allows the pitcher’s arm to be in a better location to make a more accurate pitch.
Strengthening the core increases the body’s ability to recover from injuries rapidly while improving overall health and wellness. That’s why exercises designed to enhance core stability can help to relieve upper or lower extremity problems.